Numbers were the name of the game recently as Episcopal played host to the Mu Alpha Theta Math Tournament. This year’s tournament was double the size of last year’s with 346 students from 24 schools represented. To grow in size so quickly is a true compliment to the Episcopal Mathletes who organized and planned the entire event.
A math tournament has a game day feel. There is suspense, excitement and enthusiasm as students take individual and team tests in algebra one and two, geometry, precalculus and calculus. Students huddle together in team challenges to work toward the answers with a sense of focus and concentration. Individuals pour over test questions with determination. At the end of the day, trophies are awarded to the top students in each category and everyone celebrates a common love of math.
It is this love of math that equates to unlikely friendships and connections, creating a community for these students. Upper School math teacher Hester Sofranko says one of the best components of being a Mathlete is the camaraderie among teammates and competitors. She says students who wouldn’t normally interact, become close while solving problems together. As is often the case, common ground is found through a shared passion.
“This is a chance to come into their own,” said Sofranko. “Students are able to recognize their own potential.” The Episcopal Mathletes truly lived up to their potential with the recent tournament. The group organized the entire event doing everything from writing the tests to choosing the trophies. Sofranko says the only thing they didn’t do was calculate the competition results. For the second year in a row the event was such a success that the Mathletes were able to donate $500 from the proceeds to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
While the Upper School students were busy making sure such a huge tournament functioned smoothly, the Middle School students were representing Episcopal competitively, with tremendous results.
The results are in!
Membership in Mu Alpha Theta creates a sense of pride for the Mathletes as it is a Mathematics Honor Society requiring students to maintain a 3.0 GPA. In addition, Episcopal Mathletes compete nationally in the American Math Competition with the hopes of qualifying for international level tournaments in the future. All of this can translate into college scholarships and admissions.
It’s a great feeling when you can find your community and celebrate your talents at the same time. For the Mathletes, this happens because of their command of calculations. They truly are a community uKnighted.
The fall edition of Troubadour was an enormous success! The sheer amount of work and passion that went into the magazine is impressive in and of itself. In this edition, we received many personal pieces that were able to evoke strong emotion in almost every reader. I truly believe that we, as a community, have achieved a new level of comfort with one another through this edition of the magazine, as it both enabled us to share our stories with one another as well as asked us to be understanding and accepting of those with different life experiences than ourselves. I have greatly appreciated working with such a phenomenal team and reading poems and stories from our own student body. We are looking forward to a winter edition of Troubadour in February, and I’m confident that it will even better than our fall edition!
Morgan Bernard, Troubadour Editor
Having Julien, a student from France stay with me really challenged my definition of the word “normal.” After a few days of showing him my routine and how we live here in Baton Rouge, it became clear that our routines did not have as many overlaps as I expected. Perhaps the most significant was the fact that it is very common for teenagers to drive to school here in the United States, while driving is prohibited until the age of 18 in France. Our first drive to school together, Julien held on tightly to the handle of the passenger door as I backed out of my driveway. I looked over at him and asked him if he was feeling okay, and he explained to me that this was the first time he had ridden in a car not driven by an adult. I couldn’t help but laugh when he told me that. It was so odd for me to hear that he could not even take driver’s education until he turned 16, and here I am, responsible for the safety of myself, those around me, and knowing and obeying all traffic laws. It was crazy for me to think that something that is so routine to me was something so foreign and outrageous to his definition of normal.
As the days went by and Julien and I become closer, I grew more and more fascinated by the lack of overlap between our “normals” in little things. On a rainy day when I suggested we beat the rain by grabbing an umbrella at a Walgreens, Julien was surprised to see that American drug stores offered products beyond the pharmacy. Driving to Walmart for a late night run for some toilet paper, the same thing happened. As we pulled up to the glaring neon glow of the sign, Julien was surprised to see that the same store that housed carrots and canned goods also contained an optical shop, an electronics department and a tire center. It was odd for me to realize that a normal grocery store for me was planetary compared to the local grocery stores and bakeries that he frequented back home. To Julien, my American “normal” was, quite literally, larger than his surroundings in France--from the big box stores to my mom’s mid-size SUV. Even going to Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee, something that is a quintessential American experience for many, was something new to Julien and his friends. An ordinary experience for me was actually exciting and novel for our new friends.
viewpoint can be learned hands on with an exchange program like this one. By forming a friendship with someone who is not the same as you are, you are gaining a better understanding of their world view. You realize that the life that you lead is so different than the lives that other people live around the world, and being a part of an exchange is a way that we can celebrate our differences. I know that when I board that plane to France for the roles to flip, the world presented to me will be one that is still “normal”, just not my “normal”. Reframing normal to understand that there is more than one valid experience is a lesson that makes this program so special.
Episcopal truly is a community uKnighted. After finding out that fellow Cross Country team member Louie Ballard’s mother Donna Britt had been diagnosed with ALS, Todd McInnis, David Whitehurst and Austin Broussard felt they had to do something to help. As Cross Country runners, what better way than to organize a fun run to raise money to fight the disease?! The Episcopal community responded big, and students from all three divisions hit the track. Everyone from the smallest Lower School students to members of the Middle and Upper School basketball and football teams hit the lanes. Teachers, coaches and parents also got into the action.
It was a proud day to be a Knight. Go Knights!
The Writing Center is a smaller community within Episcopal School of Baton Rouge with the goal of building the necessary skills and confidence that writing requires. As a community, we hope to foster a culture of writing and consequently nurture the students as a whole by teaching them creative ways to express themselves through writing. One unique way the Writing Center does this is by periodically hosting Waffle Workshops. As expected from their catchy title, Waffle Workshops combine the thrill of workshopping unique writing styles and techniques with enjoying delicious cinnamon roll waffles. Our favorite part about the Writing Center’s Waffle Workshops is that there are no thematic limits. In the past, we’ve held journalism workshops, humor writing workshops, and storytelling workshops. The goal of these specialized workshops is to better expose students to the Writing Center and the variety of services we offer as well as to give students a safe and nurturing place to express their creativity and discover new passions.
However, the importance of these Waffle Workshops extends beyond that of the lesson being taught or of the enticing waffles: we create and depend upon a community in these events. The workshops create a bond of trust between the students and writing fellows, which is very productive in later sessions when students visit with fellows for one-on-one help. During these workshops, we also depend on the other fellows in the Writing Center and the director, Dr. Newton, to help promote the event and make and distribute waffles. Events like the Waffle Workshops help bring our Writing Center community together while also connecting us to the rest of the student body.
Waffle Workshops are not only challenging and rewarding for fellows, they are also creative outlets. As we brainstormed one night about ideas for the workshop, the topic of argumentative writing jumped out to us, so we set a date, researched the topic, and prepared a Prezi presentation and an outline of talking points. We had fun with the whole process. Though giving a presentation to a roomful of students that you may or may not know can be intimidating, the experience pushes fellows to connect with more of the student body and fulfill our mission of creating better writers.
"I had been looking forward to doing the performance and teaching for a while, then I learned we were teaching to more than 300 kids. It was more than I had expected but the reward was greater. All in all this was an amazing experience and I’d love to do something like it again.” Mackenzie Bell, Episcopal 11th grader.
The Episcopal Dance Ensemble recently performed Louisiana Strong for the entire student body of Park Forest Elementary School. The dance ensemble consists of 14 dancers. That’s 14 teen dancers for 300 elementary kids! Those numbers might intimidate most, but the dancers delivered a powerful performance that captivated even the youngest in the crowd.
Park Forest, like Episcopal, was significantly impacted by the 2016 flood. One year later, this common experience has led to a meaningful connection between the two schools, forged by a love of dance. Louisiana Strong was choreographed by Episcopal Dance Instructor Christine Chrest to evoke the sense of chaos that was felt during the flood and the positive sense of community that followed. Chrest says it was exciting to see students from both schools connect through the piece.
“They were absolutely in awe of the beautiful choreography and costumes. The following week at school we were able to have discussions during dance class about how the dance made them feel, and how dance, like all art forms, can be used as a means of communicating ideas and emotions,” said Park Forest Dance Instructor Anna Schwab.
In addition to performing for the elementary students, the Episcopal dancers also taught the students dance terminology and the moves to match. “Every grade had one or two terms to look for and every grade got their term correct. I know dancers who are sixteen and can’t recognize half of the terms the little kids did. They surpassed my own expectations for them,” said Lauren Reed.
Don’t miss your opportunity to see the graceful movements of this group. We invite you to this year’s Fall Dance Concert, which is scheduled for November 30th at 7 pm in the VPAC.
Episcopal students are proving that they have academic and athletic ability. Recently, Episcopal student athletes have received impressive honors. Congratulations!
Senior defensive football player Cam Dumas was recently named the WBRZ Fan’s Choice Award winner. The recognition comes after the Port Allen game, where he had three interceptions, including a 95 yard touchdown return.
Senior Mary Brandon Harrell has been named to the 2017 LHSAA All Academic Composite Girls Cross Country Team. To be selected for this honor the student must be a senior, have played the sport for two years and achieved a six-semester cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
The Episcopal Boys Cross Country team is ranked number two nationally in All-Time State Championships and in All-Time Consecutive State Championships.
The 2016-2017 Episcopal Boys and Girls Soccer teams have both earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for their performance in the classroom. Episcopal is one of 46 schools in the country and the only school in Louisiana to have both teams honored. The boys earned an average 3.56 GPA and the girls averaged a 3.71.
We are proud of our student athletes and wish them continued success in and out of the classroom.
Congratulations to the 2016 / 2017 Penniman Scholars!
Katherine Fivgas ‘23
Ruby Friloux ‘22
Lucy Silverman ‘21
The recipients were recently honored with a luncheon hosted by Head of School Hugh McIntosh and Margaret Penniman Boudreaux, Class of ’76 graduate and current teacher. The Penniman Scholars are selected each year by the grade level English teachers and presented to the outstanding English student in each Middle School grade.
The first Penniman Award was given in 1988 to Lee C. “Buster” Kantrow and Cathy White Engle. The fund was established by G. Allen Penniman, Jr. in remembrance of his wife Mary Virginia Crain Penniman, who had a passion for English studies.